Monday, March 1, 2010

Interview with author Jeaniene Frost

*A huge Thank You to Jeaniene for taking the time to answer questions for our Bite Club readers!!

Bite Club Q&A with Jeaniene Frost:

The Craft

1. What is your writing process like? Do you keep organized notes? Do you designate a set time for writing each day?

Organization and I have never met, lol. I jot ideas or notes down as they strike me on whatever’s closest; bills, sticky notes, scrap paper, or even my hand if I can’t find any paper. I write mostly in the afternoon from around 1pm – 6pm. Mornings are spent handling business-related activities that are necessary, but don’t add anything to my word count. As for my writing process, I wrote a long description of it here, which I’ll link instead of copy so as to save space:

2. Do you have music that you listen to for inspiration?

Yes. When I edit, I normally like quiet, but when I’m engaged in new writing, it helps to have some background music. I usually make specific playlists for each book (or short story), and then repeat those songs over and over until I’m done writing the story. It’s a sort of Pavlovian conditioned response for me, I guess. I’m triggered to get in the mood to write a particular book when I hear those certain songs.

3. How do you celebrate finishing a book?

By going out to dinner with my husband, usually. Then by sleeping in the next day, reading, and watching TV. And, ah, by finally getting to the piles of laundry that will have accrued by then.

4. Why did you choose the vampire as a character for your book?

I didn’t really choose; the main characters popped into my mind via a dream fully formed as a half-vampire and a vampire. From there, it was up to me to determine who those people were, how vampires existed, what other creatures might be in that world, and why the half-vampire and full vampire kept fighting all the time, heh.

5. What is easier to write- the hero, the heroine, or the villain?

I have more fun writing my heroines and heroes. I feel much more connected to them. I might understand my villains, and know the reasoning behind the twisted things they do, but I feel far less connected to them than I do to my protagonists.

6. Favorite character that you have written?

I’m a fickle author, I’ll admit. When I write a Cat and Bones book, they’re my favorite characters. When I wrote First Drop of Crimson, Spade and Denise were my favorites. When I wrote Eternal Kiss of Darkness, Mencheres and Kira rated the highest with me. Now I’m back to writing about Cat and Bones, so they’d win the favorites contest at the moment.

7. What vampire mythology do you use in your writing?

I took a few things that are from established vampire lore (fangs, blood consumption, superhuman strength & abilities, mind control) and then added or subtracted things based on what I liked or didn’t like about the vampire mythos. I’d never liked that vampires had to be invited in a home before entering, or that they weren’t supposed to be able to cast a reflection, or couldn’t walk in sunlight. So my vampires have none of those restrictions. I always did like the idea of flying, pyrokinesis, telekinesis, and other nifty tricks, so some of my vampires have those abilities. Writing fantasy is great that way – you have control to make things according to blueprint you want to follow.

But once you’ve established that blueprint, you’re stuck with it. Nothing ticks readers off faster than betraying previously-set worldbuilding rules. For example, if you said in your first three books that vampires can never do X, then in book four, a vampire does X, expect a lot of angry emails.

General Vampire Questions

1. Looking back in history, who is the one person you'd expect to find out was really a vampire? Why?

Maybe Rasputin. He had multiple strange occurrences happen around him in life, but especially at the point of his death, when after being poisoned, shot repeatedly, clubbed, stabbed, and castrated before being flung into an icy river, Rasputin’s cause of death was later found at his autopsy to be from drowning. That’s just too strange.

2. What would you want to say if you met a real vampire?

Don’t eat me, I’m a fan!

3. If vampires existed should they stay hidden, or reveal themselves?

Stay hidden. Seriously, humans don’t get along with each other based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, social status, political party affiliation, thoughts on the color yellow…I don’t see us embracing another species with gracious aplomb any time soon.

4. Would you make a good vampire?

Since I have no idea what a “real” vampire lifestyle might consist of, I don’t know *wink*. Be a vampire like how they’re portrayed on Buffy or Salem’s Lot? No, doesn’t sound like something I’d be good at or would even want to do. Be a vampire where I didn’t have to kill people, wasn’t inherently evil, could still walk into a church, all those things…sure, I might be able to handle that and be decent at it.

Speed Round

1. Vampires- fangs or no fangs?

Fangs, definitely. Vampires would seem pretty neutered to me without them.

2. Blood- fresh, bottled, or synthetic?

None of the above for me, thanks ;-).

3. Romance or Horror?

Both. I think the two mix together quite well.

4. One thing readers would be surprised to know about you?

Hmm. Probably that I don’t stay up very late at night. It’s a common misconception that because I’m a vampire writer, I must be a night owl.

5. Favorite vampire book? Movie?

Impossible to pick just one. I really liked the Underworld movies and the Blade movies, plus most Dracula movies, just to name a few favorite vamp flicks. As for favorite vampire authors, it’s even harder to narrow that down, so here’s a list of my favorite authors (and no surprise that many of them write about vampires):

*Don't forget to stop by on March 8th and 9th for our discussion on First Drop of Crimson!!


BookFreak said...

Great questions.
I love you Jeaniene!

Marry me Bones! or Ian :]

cait045 said...

Great interview. Can't wait to read Spade's book

Anna Dougherty said...

BookFreak- Ian? Really? Hmm, I'll have to think about that one. Bones? Absolutely!

Rain Maiden said...

I can't wait till the 8th.

Anonymous said...

Ian was pretty funny in this book. I love Bones just like everyone else but I wouldn't mind Spade or Vlad either.

Stephanie G

Anna Dougherty said...

I'd actually like to see Ian get his own book and love interest- then he would have to ask for Cat and Bones, along with Spade, Vlad, and Mencheres, to help him out. Despite his previous behavior, he's not a bad guy really- he's funny too and it is way sexy to know that he's pierced:)

Jeaniene Frost said...

Hi everyone! Yes, Ian really struck a home run with a lot of readers after First Drop came out. He's never before gotten fan mail, but now, every day, I'm getting a new "write an Ian book!" message, lol.

Anonymous said...

Oh! The look on Cat's face if her mother was Ian's love interest. HAHAHAHA! And another reason for those many "food runs" in One Grave at a Time.HAAHAHAH!